Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sparkle suit

Believe me, I've been wearing some good outfits lately - and failing to document them. But I actually got around to picture-taking this past Thursday!


Maybe you remember when I got this suit for free a few months ago. Now I've gone and added a second-hand sequin top to my wardrobe, and voila -


Here's a close-up in the sunlight so you can see the full sparkle potential of this fabulous thing.

I really felt like a disco ball all day

Today I'm pumped because the cool weather tells me it's time to prepare for Fall 2012: Return of the Sweater Dresses ;)

And here's a bonus pic of a recent harvest that became a salad!

Basil, pepper, chives, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes :D

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Almost Fall

Hey how've you been?

I suppose I've been hiding out - lots going on. Here are some recent photos:

The garden is keeping on so good!

Peppers/ chives/ lettuce/ thyme/ tomatoes

For fun, I've been making little herb bouquets for the house -

Mint and thyme, plus mums from the parents!

Joe was gone for a little bit, so my parents came to keep my company -

We spent a LOT of time on the couch.

Mom took care of the plants for me :)

...and Dad documented it, style-blogger-husband style :)

We went out for Vietnamese on Washington and afterwards explored the grocery store next door. I brought this home!

YUM!

And Mom and Dad left me with piles of veggies from their farm share, with which I made my first attempt at aloo gobi :)


Then Joe came back :D We wandered a bunch this past weekend, and in the process made a few additions to our fall wardrobes -

Sweet $8 coat (dress?) from a tag sale!

Penn-colors seersucker jacket from Retrospect

Have a lovely Wednesday :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Garden surprise

This summer I had extra space in my buckets, so I allowed a few weeds to grow themselves. They got moved around a couple times as I planted other things throughout the season, and the ones that I liked the most ultimately ended up in their own buckets.

One of my favorites was a lady who shot up real fast in the spring. I had no idea what she was, but I liked her fancy leaves -


Then I watched her grow tall fuzzy stems and spindly yellow flowers -


One day I got nervous about all her little flowers. I thought that she was a weed and would infect all my other buckets with her babies. So I pulled her up - but in the process, I noticed her yellow flowers were starting to grow these little green bulbs -


And so I gently re-planted her, because SHE'S A TOMATO PLANT!


It's funny - lots of people have suggested that I plant tomatoes, but I've resisted because 1) I'm not crazy about them and 2) I hear they're fussy. But when nature hands me tomatoes, I will totally take them.

And now they're just beginning to ripen -


Along with the other plants that planted themselves -


Did you know that red peppers are just ripened green peppers?! Thanks for the tip, Marian!

Nature is so cool... especially when I can eat it :) :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Menu oracle

I've done a little computer programming in my life, and loved it. It's been a few years since I've done anything serious, but lately I've been motivated to pick it back up, partially because there are a few apps that I wish existed.

Python is my programming language of choice, and there's a pretty cheap Python app! I've been messing around with it and have come up with my first little program: the Menu Oracle.

Here's the thought process that brought me to this idea:
  1. When we go grocery shopping, we buy the same ingredients over and over
  2. Less variety makes us bored with the food we have at home
  3. We never have a concrete plan for the week's food, which forces us to be creative, but sometimes leaves us unsatisfied
  4. Unsatisfactory meals encourage us to go out to eat more, but we'd like to do that less
  5. When I'm shopping, it's hard to think up all the different meals that I like making and eating
  6. Epicurious and WTFSIMFD are great tools for planning a special meal, but I'm not motivated to learn how to make something new all the time
  7. I wish I had an app that could draw from all the meals I like to make and randomly select from those to tell me what to buy for the coming week
  8. I can program something!

So I did it. I made five different categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner, goodies, and sweets. Then over the course of a few days I listed everything I could think of that is easy to make, and that Joe and I both enjoy eating. You can see these lists in the picture below.

Input on the left, output on the right

This little program is very simple and tells the computer to perform three steps:
  1. Make five lists of all the foods we like - one list for each category
  2. Access your powers of choosing an item randomly from a list
  3. Choose a random item out of each of the five lists and then tell us which one you chose
Our plan is to generate these lists and use them to plan our shopping for the week. We'll buy enough of one item from each category to feed the two of us for several meals. This still leaves room for creativity - it's not like we have to eat every one of these foods every day of the week. We may buy other things or go out. And we could always mix it up and have dinner leftovers for lunch, or vice versa.

I've got this file saved and can add to it any time. And we've got plans for a few little upgrades, including tags for season and effort (in case, for instance, we don't want to make a whole meatloaf-and-potatoes dinner on a hot and busy week in July).

What else should we add to our lists?

Monday, August 13, 2012

On the wall

We had a home weekend this weekend (finally!) so I tackled a project that I've been dreaming about for a good long while.

The guest room is the barest room in the house, but now the walls have a little bit of spice -


A long time ago I found this technique for decorating bare walls without damaging the paint job. All it takes is corn starch, water, and some pretty fabric.

The fabric I used was a vintage floral print that I've been carrying around with me in my box of craft supplies since, oh, 2005...


The quote is slightly modified from Janelle Monae's song "Wondaland", and is totally appropriate for the guest room :)


As for the font - I cut the letters freehand and was inspired by the flower petals in the print. And I'm particularly impressed with myself because I did all of the cutting with my right (non-dominant) hand!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer updates

Looks like I'm slowing down with the blogging. And I don't feel bad - it's because I've been doing so much living! Here are some updates -

Garden

The garden has come so far since last year. I'm really getting to know what works here and what doesn't. Here's this year's biggest harvest:

BASIL out the butt, 2 garlics, cucumber, chives, 2 peppers, and a lettuce

You wouldn't believe how much basil we've been eating this summer. We are the luckiest people on earth.

Also, the thyme has its own bucket now, and it is so happy -


Remember my pepper plants? They're going wild!


I'ma try to dry some of these seeds for next year - but if that doesn't work, I can always try for volunteers again :)

Home

Our living room is a dream-come-true. We've got a giant fluffy couch! And a shelf to serve as our entertainment system!! (Remember what it used to look like?)


Only we're not currently using that room for projecting, because it's not air conditioned. So, empty entertainment shelf for now. Haha.

In the meantime, we've been watching the beautiful sunsets from the air conditioning :)


Fun

Our social calendar has been so full this summer. First we visited my parents and their incredible garden -



Then Amy and Xavier came again!


Then Mike visited and helped us eat our giant harvest in the form as pesto-on-tortellini and salad!


Then we got all fancy for Lisa and Josiah's kick-ass wedding!


Whew. All that... and the summer fun isn't even over yet ;)

Style

You know, I've got only one style update:


My collection of jumpsuits/ rompers is growing and growing. I think it's a reflection of my slow descent into madness.

And I'm okay with it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Birthday beads

This weekend I got a package in the mail. The getting of the package was a whole fiasco, but when I opened it, I found:


Beads! Big luxurious soft beads! Made of turban fabric by women in India who are paid and treated fairly, woooo! They're a birthday gift from my wonderful Aunt Ellen :)


So I've built today's work outfit around them. For their first run I want to showcase their brilliant colors against a simple black background. And just to business it up, I'll throw a blazer on top.


Speaking of birthday gifts, I neglected to show you my SWEET new interchangeable circular needle set from Mom and Dad -


Believe me, they're already being put to good use!